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IL defense lawyerIn Illinois, our driving under the influence laws say that it is illegal to operate a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Clearly, your car is a vehicle, as is your family’s SUV. A big rig is very clearly a vehicle, and CDL holders may be in even more trouble for drunk-driving one. However, there is still room for debate and confusion about what else constitutes a “vehicle.” Is your bicycle a vehicle? Will you get in trouble for drunk riding your bike home from the bar to avoid driving? What if your bicycle is electric and you do not have to pedal it? These are the types of questions you need answers to before you hop on any device meant to transport you while you are impaired by alcohol or drugs like cannabis. If you do find yourself charged with a DUI on an unusual vehicle, our attorneys can help you fight the charge.

Defining a “Vehicle” for Purposes of Illinois’ DUI Laws

In Illinois, the definition of a “vehicle” is somewhat broad. For purposes of determining whether you could get charged with a DUI for driving or riding it while intoxicated, the determining factor is what powers the vehicle. A “vehicle” is anything designed to transport a person or people, and that is not solely human-powered.

So, while a bicycle is designed to transport a person, it is not a “vehicle” for DUI purposes if it is a standard pedal-powered bicycle. However, slap a motor on that bicycle so that you do not have to pedal, and suddenly, you are back in DUI territory.


IL defense lawyerDrug crimes - even simple possession - are very serious in Illinois. If you were caught with drugs other than cannabis, you are most likely looking at a felony charge. Even if you have never been in trouble with the law before, you could be convicted of a felony and sent to prison for drug possession. Most individuals who are caught with small amounts of illicit substances for personal use are not big-time dealers or traffickers - they are average people. Illinois courts recognize that people make mistakes and that not everyone caught with drugs is a serious or routine offender. To help prevent small-time occasional drug users from becoming felons, Illinois does have a type of diversion program. Our lawyers can tell you more about how this program can help you avoid a conviction.

Section 410 Probation for Certain Drug Crimes

First-time drug offenders may be eligible for Section 410 probation. First, you must plead guilty to the drug possession - however, the court will not enter a guilty verdict at this time. Instead, you will be ordered to complete Section 410 probation. If you fulfill all the requirements of Section 410 probation, then the charge will be dismissed entirely and your record will be clean.

To be eligible for Section 410 probation, you will need to complete a substance abuse evaluation. People who are found to have serious substance abuse problems are not eligible for this program. The drug testing requirements are very strict, and addicts are unlikely to successfully complete the program. If you do not have an addiction, you are likely to be accepted to the program.


IL criminal lawyerBeing a Class A Misdemeanor, a domestic violence conviction can get you tossed in the county jail for up to a year. That is one example of a judicial consequence - a sentence for a crime you have been convicted of. “Collateral consequences” are the things that can happen to you because of a domestic violence conviction other than the sentence imposed by the court. Things like losing your job and getting evicted are collateral consequences. The judge did not order your boss to fire you or tell your landlord to kick you out, but things like this happen anyway. When it comes to domestic violence - a heavily stigmatized crime - many people find the collateral consequences just as bad as if not worse than the judicial consequences. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you will need a strong legal defense team to protect you.

What Problems Might I Face After a Domestic Violence Conviction?

The collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction can include:

  • Trouble with housing - If you lived with the alleged victim when you got arrested, you were probably served with a protection order that prevents you from going home. Yes, simply being arrested for domestic violence can make you immediately homeless, so you might be scrambling to find housing right now. Landlords may be very reluctant to accept a tenant with a domestic violence charge. True or not, potential landlords may assume you are a violent person and will cause trouble.
  • Reputation damage - You will be judged, both socially and professionally, if you are convicted of domestic violence. Some of your friends may no longer want anything to do with you, especially if you and the alleged victim had a lot of mutual friends - who are likely to side with them. You may find yourself feeling socially isolated and ostracized.
  • Professional licensing - Domestic violence is an automatic or near-automatic disqualifier for most professional licenses. Nurses, teachers, and more may be stripped of their licenses.
  • Difficulty with employment - Prepare to lose your current job. Many people do. Unless you are already in a line of work that frequently accepts people with criminal records, you might quickly find yourself without a job. Finding a new one can be difficult.

Even being accused of domestic violence can do significant damage to your life. A strong legal defense can mitigate any potential issues, and in some cases, can even clear your name.


IL defense lawyerAs far as sexually-oriented offenses go, public indecency is on the less serious end of the spectrum. Often any sexual activity involved is between consenting adults, and aside from offended bystanders, there is no real victim. That said, public indecency is still a fairly serious charge. In most cases, it is a Class A Misdemeanor, the most serious category before getting into felonies. If convicted, you could face up to a year in jail or a $2,500 fine. Not to mention, you could have to register as a sex offender. The penalties actually imposed often depend very much on the specific facts of your case. There are steps an attorney can take to protect you from the harshest consequences or to challenge the charge in court. Illinois’ public indecency laws can be vague, so there is room for an attorney to make good arguments.

Explaining Public Indecency Laws, Arrests, and Potential for Conviction

Some laws are very clear-cut. If you are driving with a B.A.C. higher than 0.08, you are guilty of a DUI - simple. Public indecency laws in Illinois are not like that at all. Our state statute sets out public indecency laws so that a person is guilty of public indecency if they are over 17 years old and in a public place, they:

  • Engaged in an act of sexual penetration or other sexual conduct, or,
  • Lewdly exposed their body for the purpose of arousing or satisfying their own sexual desire.

As you can see, there is room for interpretation here. Quite a bit is left up to each individual police officer’s discretion. One may feel that a couple who is fully clothed but tangled up in a heavy make-out session is “engaged in sexual conduct,” while another might not think twice about it. Now, if a couple is found having sexual intercourse in a public park, that is a fairly clear-cut example of public indecency.


Arlington Heights Criminal Defense LawyerDrug crimes vary more than any other type of criminal offense In terms of jail sentences and other criminal penalties. The amount of jail time a person faces for a drug-related crime depends on the type of drug, the amount of the substance, and whether the person was accused of manufacturing or selling the drug as opposed to merely possessing the drug. Most people accused of a drug offense are overwhelmed and confused. They are unsure of what their rights are and what penalties they may face.

Manufacturing methamphetamine or “meth” is a felony offense in Illinois.

If you or a loved one were accused of operating a “meth lab” or otherwise manufacturing methamphetamine, the first step is to seek personalized advice from a criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney can answer all of your questions and provide legal guidance specific to your situation.